Contracts exchanged on Phones 4u Arena sale

Simon Donohue

The Phones 4u Arena in Manchester is close to being sold by joint venture owners Development Securities and Patron Capital in a deal reported to be worth £82m.

A statement released by DevSec today said: "Further to recent press speculation we confirm that in joint venture with Patron Capital, we have conditionally exchanged on the sale of The Phones 4u Arena in Manchester.

"Until the conditions of this exchange are concluded, we are unable to comment further."

According to reports, the buyer of the venue is Mansford Real Estate, a private European multi-strategy real estate investment firm owned and controlled by its management.

Previous Mansford investments include Swinton shopping centre in Salford.

DevSec and Patron Capital acquired the arena from GE Real Estate and Capital & Regional for £62.2m in 2010, reportedly beating more than 12 alternative offers.

Formerly known as the Nynex and Manchester Evening News arenas, the venue was renamed as The Phones 4u Arena in July. PHAR Partnerships, a specialist sponsorship agency, was appointed to secure a new naming rights partner for the arena earlier this year.

The arena is operated by SMG Europe. With 1.2 million ticket sales each year, the Phones 4u Arena is the second busiest indoor arena in the world after the O2 Arena in London.

Whitaker Horton advises DevSec and Patron Capital.

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